After last month’s toss-up round of scrappy soul singers, indie rockers and yacht-rock progeny left us with no clear sense of a frontrunner until the die was actually cast in Alanna Royale’s favor, Round Two brings back that familiar feeling of complete and utter conflict. Who are we supposed to cheer for? Hanzelle’s woozy electro pop from Planet Rock? Little Bandit’s wry, tear-in-your-beer country ballads? Ranch Ghost’s Children of the Corn hat collection? Not to mention the mournful pedal steel of Andrew Combs and the National-inspired indie rockery of Vinyl Thief. And that still doesn’t count the underdogs of the match — Blackfoot Gypsies, Ravello and Shannon Labrie. This’ll be a tough one for sure, but only one of these eight bands can win a spot at Bonnaroo. If you want to get your say in the matter, get to Mercy Lounge quick — last month’s free RTB show hit capacity early in the night, and you don’t want to get caught out in the cold. —Lance Conzett
As always, the 8 off 8th is free. But I recommend you heed Mr. Conzett's advice and show up on time.